GILBERT, Ariz. (June 15, 2012) -- Kevin Dougherty of Murrieta, California, completes a solid round of 74 (+2) under hot and gusty wind conditions to finish at 279 (-9) and capture the 97th Annual Southwestern Amateur Golf Tournament at the Ritz-Carlton Golf Club, Dove Mountain, Marana, Arizona.
"I had a good ball striking day but some had three 3-putts in five holes on the front nine," he lamented.
But there was no serious challenge to his lead throughout the day although the par 3 13th hole was pivotal. Kevin plugged his ball into the face of the bunker while his fellow competitors, Michael Davan from Hoopeston, Illinois, and Cameron Harrel from Colorado Springs, Colorado, put their balls within 15 feet of the hole.
Kevin blasted his bunker shot to 12 feet and made the putt to stave off any large swing in position. Michael and Cameron both shot 73 (+1) today to pick up just one stroke on Kevin. Michael finished in second place at 282 (-6) for a three day total of 209 (-7) and Cameron finished in third place at 284 (-4). Kevin has had a third round lead before and won so his approach last night was to relax.
"Our family had dinner at the Dove Mountain Grlll and I watched my NBA team the Heat beat the Thunder so felt that was a good omen," Kevin said. Although he is not superstition, "I did have the same breakfast every day."
"I was a little nervous on the first tee, but I am always nervous on the first tee," he added. Lucky he did not know that his friend and mentor Tom Pernice Jr. was the 1982 Southwestern Amateur champion. Eighteen players who finished in the top 15 and ties have exempt status into the 2013 Southwestern Amateur to be held at the Desert Mountain Golf Club in Scottsdale, Arizona.